Australian Echinoderms: Biology, Ecology and Evolution

A comprehensive, illustrated resource for the identification, evolution and ecology of echinoderms.

Echinoderms, including feather stars, seastars, brittle stars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers, are some of the most beautiful and interesting animals in the sea. They play an important ecological role and several species of sea urchins and sea cucumbers form the basis of important fisheries. Over 1000 species live in Australian waters, from the shoreline to the depths of the abyssal plain and the tropics to Antarctic waters.

Australian Echinoderms is an authoritative account of Australia’s 110 families of echinoderms. It brings together in a single volume comprehensive information on the identification, biology, evolution, ecology and management of these animals for the first time. Richly illustrated with beautiful photographs and written in an accessible style, Australian Echinoderms suits the needs of marine enthusiasts, academics and fisheries managers both in Australia and other geographical areas where echinoderms are studied.

Maria Byrne is Professor of Marine and Developmental Biology at the University of Sydney. Her research interests are on the biology, ecology, conservation and evolution in marine invertebrates with a focus on echinoderms from across the globe and more recently on the impacts of climate change.

Timothy O’Hara has been researching echinoderms since high school. Since becoming a curator at Museums Victoria in 2001, his research has focused on using the vast amounts of data and specimens stored in museum collections to address issues of biodiversity conservation and management. He has conducted biodiversity and ecological surveys, mapped the distribution of seafloor animals across oceans, used extracted DNA to study evolution, and described many beautiful new species.

Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS)
In 1973 the Commonwealth Government established the Australian Biological Resources Study to document what plants and animals there are in Australia and where they occur. The ABRS is now part of the Department of the Environment. It brings together the expertise of scientists from around Australia and overseas, to prepare and publish authoritative information about Australia’s flora and fauna.

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